Ken Borland

By Ken Borland

Journalist


Boucher on India tour: ‘We’ve got the ammo; it’s now about form, confidence’

'We also don’t want to give away too many of our cards because India are in our World Cup pool as well.'


Seeing how a couple of personnel options go and getting the players into peak form ahead of the T20 World Cup are the focus points for Proteas coach Mark Boucher as he leads the team to India for a T20 and ODI series that starts next Wednesday and ends on October 11.

It will be Boucher’s penultimate mission with the national team, after he decided to end his stint with the Proteas after the T20 World Cup that follows the India tour.

Boucher will become the Mumbai Indians head coach, but he did not want to talk about that on Thursday, rather disingenuously saying contractual obligations to both CSA and his new IPL franchise prevented him from speaking about his move.

Also read: Mumbai Indians and the IPL a suitable next step for Boucher

“It’s a massive tour for us, the tour before the big event, which is the World Cup. It will be very easy to keep the focus on that massive prize and I know the players are very focused too,” Boucher said.

“My personal decisions won’t hamper the players, I’m in this job for them and I will give 100% to them. I want to look at combinations, keep them in touch in terms of form and try get the confidence going.

“We hope to see a couple of options and give opportunities to players, albeit in Indian conditions. We know we will have to play a different brand in Australia, but I know we’ve got the players to push for a great outcome.

“We also don’t want to give away too many of our cards because India are in our World Cup pool as well. So don’t expect us to go at them with our full-frontal team,” Boucher said.

‘Ammunition’

While the 45-year-old often comes across as a stern older brother type rather than a kind, gentle uncle, there is no doubt he backs his players. Whether that be “backing Temba Bavuma 100%” after his shock omission from the SA20 or pumping the tyres of a T20 squad that many see as dark horses for the World Cup title.

“We’ve been the most successful T20 side over the last 25-30 games and we have a lot of special players. I have full confidence that we have lots of ammunition, now it’s about getting the guys to go out and play and be world-beaters.

“We’ll try and get everyone involved and ready in India, there are three T20s and three ODIs to get the guys in form and fit. It’s a massive blow not having Rassie van der Dussen and his whole aura around the team.

“But we are fortunate to have lots of guys pushing for selection, the competition for places is massive. And we can compete in any conditions.

“The nice thing about being together for a long time is that we have continuity, but also some exciting new talent that doesn’t have the scars of the past,” Boucher said.

Also read: What Proteas must do to win T20 World Cup – ‘We have to back ourselves,’ says Nkwe